- WARNING to Parents -
Sleep babies in an empty crib. The CDC reports that many babies are suffocating while sleeping. In 2009, 665 babies died from accidental suffocation or strangulation while in bed. Infants are dying from suffocation next to the soft, cuddly toys, crib bumpers, blankets, etc.
Babies can pull these items over their faces, cutting off air, or roll into a crib bumper and suffocate against the padded bumper. These items are marketed by the companies which are aware of this danger, putting profits over safety. Bumpers are marketed to protect babies; however, American Pediatrics has issued a specific warning about crib bumpers, warning parents that they can be dangerous, and should never be used in a crib. Stores in some cities have been banned from selling crib bumpers.
The CDC warns parents to sleep babies in an EMPTY crib to prevent babies from suffocating on any items. If your baby is younger than one year old, doctors say there should be nothing in the crib except the baby—no stuffed animals, pillows, toys or blankets. Place babies in zip-up sleep sacks which do not creep up around the baby’s neck. (Today Show, Center for Disease Control, May 16, 2012)
- Many families who cannot afford diapers use unfortunate strategies to make diapers last longer. One way is to leave the child in a wet diaper until they have had a bowel movement; change the baby by removing solid waste from the diaper and reusing it if it is dry. When a child wears a wet diaper or dirty diaper for too long, it is more likely to contract skin rashes and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Although parents do not intend to harm their children, the strategies used when supplies run low, can be dangerous, having significant physical, social, emotional and financial consequences for parent and their children. (Joanne Goldblum, National Diaper Bank, co-author of Yale University study, November 2013)
- Difficult to detect in non-verbal children, untreated UTIs can cause serious kidney damage that can lead to scarring, poor growth and high blood pressure among afflicted children. (American Academy of Pediatrics journal, July 2013)
- Parents' health can also be compromised with diaper shortage. Parents under economic stress are more likely to display punitive behaviors like yelling when interacting with their children, making them more susceptible to feelings of inadequacy and incompetence. (Researcher Rand Conger, sociologist at UC Davis)
- Parents who do not bring a supply of disposable diapers to their child-care provider may be refused admittance of the child. Most child-care centers will not admit children who wear less-expensive cloth diapers. (Joanne Goldblum, Exec. Director, National Diaper Bank Network)
Although cloth diapers may be a cost-reducing solution for families, low-income parents often rent their homes, and renters typically do not have washing machines; and many laundromats do not allow people to wash diapers; and transporting soiled diapers via mass transit can be problematic.
- Nonprofit diaper banks struggle to provide sufficient diapers to reduce parental stress and improve child outcomes. The need is so great. "There is never enough. If we had a million diapers today, we could get rid of them, and we could still use more." (Jesse Sheldon, president of the diaper bank at Inland NW Baby)
- Wet babies cry for help, but their parents can not provide it, and the babies' needs go unmet. "And so that impacts their brain development. It impacts their ability to attach to their caregiver," says Susan Schultz, manager of the SRHD's Nurse Family partnership, where health nurses visit low-income mothers until their babies turn 2. ("Keeping safe and dry," reporter Adrian Rogers, The Spokesman-Review, June 10, 2014)
- 30% of low-income families lack an adequate supply of diapers. (Pediatrics journal, August 2013)
- 3 million children under age 3 live in poverty in the U.S., needing a conservative 6 diaper changes a day. (Joanne Goldblum, Executive Director, National Diaper Bank Network)
- Diapers for one child, 0 to 36 months costs a low estimate of $1,715.00, and a high estimate of $2,336.00. A low estimate of $511 for age 1; $657 for age 2; and $547.50 for age 3. A high estimate is $730 for ages 1 and 2; and $876 for age 3. (Sources: Mayo Clinic, Babycenter.com, Walmart, Huggies, Enfamil, 2013)
- Baby Blankets. Purchase unstained baby blankets at yard sales, wash them, and donate them to a charity.
The Consumer Products and Safety Council discourages the use of used
cribs. If you are donating one, make certain that it meets Federal
safety regulations and industry voluntary standards (ASTM).
Make certain it has a tight fitting mattress. If
you can fit more than two fingers between the edge of the mattress and
crib side, the mattress is too small. An infant can suffocate if its
head or body becomes wedged between the mattress and the crib sides.
Never donate a crib that has loose or missing slats.
Be sure that all slats are securely fastened in place and the space
between slats is no more than 2-3/8 inches (60 mm) to avoid head
Infant Crisis Needs Bank
(Mission Community Outreach Center)
1906 E. Mission